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By Terry Savage on January 13, 2014 | Credit/Debt

Hi Terry, I have a lot of credit cards I don’t use and are paid off. They do charge a small fee for having the account open. I do want to close them, but I’m worried about my credit score. Right now it’s 931. I was told by someone else to leave them open, but it’s foolish to keep paying these fees. Can you give advice if I should close them, and how it will that affect my credit score? Thank you, Valentina

Terry Says:  The answer to this is a mixed bag.  You don’t want to keep paying annual fees for cards you don’t use. But it is true that your credit score depends, in part, on the length of time you have had your credit established.  So don’t close the oldest cards.  Use them instead of more recent ones, which you can feel free to close.  There’s an interesting tool at Experian.com, called the ScorePlanner that will give you an idea of the impact on your score of various activities.  That might give you more specific info.  And by the way, you have a very nice high credit score, and if you aren’t planning on a major purchase such as a car or home anytime soon, then it won’t really matter if your score drops a bit because you closed a few cards.  Do check your credit report and make sure that after you close the card there is annotation that the card was closed at the request of the cardholder.

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